When I was young, I was a victim of bullying – it still happens sometimes. When I look at the reasons I was being picked on, they still make absolutely no sense… but then, when does bullying truly ever make sense?
Maturity has no bearing on how someone handles being bullied – it isn’t like we have some sort of innate “People’s opinions don’t matter” button. At least part of most people reacts if they get centered out by others, and if they get picked on. It can lead to many types of reactions, generally all negative. My personal reaction to being bullied is anger. Unfortunately, when I’m angry, I get tears in my eyes and that makes people mistake it for sadness, and they also pick at me even more because they know they’ll get a reaction. Now, if I’m allowed to speak free (not on paid time at a job), my reaction is a whole other ball of wax. I surprised my boyfriend last year when my landlord was giving me static about paying my rent (yes, you heard that correctly – I had to fight to get them to accept my rent money because they were pissy at me for giving notice). When we left he said he had never seen me get truly angry before. I said “that’s because I’ve been angry before but haven’t been allowed the leisure of expressing it”.
For some reason, though, I get far more angry at someone else being bullied than I do when someone bullies me. I am far more likely to snap off and say something nasty in this situation.
Here’s the thing that bullies don’t understand. The person who manages to avoid conflict by keeping their calm isn’t the weak one. The one who needs to pick on someone to get some sense of self-worth is weak, because people like myself pull that sense of self-worth from themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an over-inflated ego. I’ve never been given that luxury, and for this I’m grateful. I just wish that sometimes I gave less of a fuck about consequences when defending myself or others.